Can new Blackberry smartphone compete?

NEW YORK (CNN) – Blackberry unveiled its new phone today, called the ‘passport’.  Blackberry hopes it helps the company travel back to profitability.

As phone launches go, this one was understated. True, they had a Canadian celebrity to pitch the product.

Apple this is not and one look at blackberry’s new passport and its clear this is also not an iPhone.  It’s big, it’s wide, and it has a square screen and a physical keyboard.

One of the more intriguing aspects of this new phone is the touch enable keyboard. Swipe your fingers across and you can move the cursor across the screen, or scroll the text up and down.

Blackberry says the keyboard will appeal to its traditional users. They say the bigger battery will last longer and the wider screen works better with documents and spread sheets.

Clearly, the focus going forward is the business market, “It’s the only strategy that’s gonna work for them. They can’t sell to the average consumer anymore because they’ve already purchased long, thin smartphones with touch screens,” said tech writer Daniel Bader.

The passport, he says, likely won’t bring many of those customers back to blackberry, but it’s not meant to and the business market, says Blackberry’s CEO, is easily big enough to get the company back to profitability.

Blackberry CEO John Chen said, “That’s 30 per cent of a billion phones. That’s more than enough.”

Those corporations, he says can start buying blackberry’s new phone right now.

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